The American Republic has been swept into s pseudo-sense of euphoria since the election of President Obama. The continued surge of these emotions is indicative of the fact that there is indeed a need for radical change in the American way of life. The newly sworn President quite frankly has a good feel on the pulse of the sentiments of the American people and this author hopes every expectation he has for success is realized.
However, we need to remember the work that still needs to continue in our appreciation of the rights of the unborn and their inalienable right to life from the moment of conception. Today marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortions in this country over 35 years ago. Despite decades of concentrated efforts and marches and protests and letter writing, the Catholic Church in the United States has been unable to successfully mitigate an overturning of this egregious decision of the high court. In effect the Pro-Life Movement is itself in desperate need of a renewal of intent and purpose in the manner with which they pursue the overturning of this monumental decision against human life and dignity.
American Catholics need to pursue the overturn of Roe vrs Wade with a new zeal and enthusiasm in the same manner the early Church experienced the event of Pentecost with the coming of the power of the Holy Spirit. In our late 20th century history, Catholics have experienced so many events that have introduced significant change in the global society. We have experienced an ecumenical council (Vatican II), watched the office of the Pope grow into an international platform that heralds universal human rights and freedoms, witnessed the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe and watched the world shrink as technological innovations have networked us into a true internet village. With this in mind, it is time to take the battle against Roe vrs Wade to a new level of protest, one that embraces the moral certainity of the Catholic Churchâ€™s unchanged traditions that uphold the rights of the unborn to a new level of personal and collective consciousness.
Especially important is the need for our hierarchy of bishops to strongly and publically manifest clearly the message of life at every opportunity that presents itself. While public marches and petitions are sometimes effective, the American Catholic Bishops should invoke the rights of law as well as the rights of public speech and protest in the effort to eradicate Roe vs. Wade. Every avenue should be exploited by the American Catholic hierarchy to mount a judicial and legal campaign to topple this decision with all of the resources available. While there is a politically separate division of Church and State in our countryâ€¦we should always remember that the intention of the Founding Fathers was to establish a government and society that existed, with the inclusion of the Deity of Judeo-Christian tradition. From the heights of the Enlightenment, the Founding Fathers realized in exalted humanist sentiments the intrinsic rights granted by our Creator to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Over the last two centuries, Americans have developed an appreciation of what it means to live in the American experience. Slavery, formerly an institution sanctioned by our government is abolished, the right to vote for African-Americans and women has been established, and the application of Civil Rights for all Americans regardless of color or creed was realized in 1965. The perpetual struggles of our American society are the touchstones of our judicial and legislative processes. Thankfully, the right to appeal is also a critically important piece of our system of due process. In the Catholic tradition this right of appeal is correctly called grace. Namely, the continued call to conversion towards a theocentric moral and ethical life is the cornerstone of the Catholic Americanâ€™s pursuit of the balanced responsibilities of citizenship and inclusion into a spiritual entity of faith. With the renewal of the spirit of American â€œcan doâ€ sentiments, American Catholics need to wholeheartedly adopt the â€œcan doâ€ attitude in regards to our campaign against laws that are contradictory to the sanctity and dignity of human life.
During the presidential campaign of 2008, Mr.Obama repeatedly invoked the revolutionary ideals of the Founding Fathers and the justness of the cause which constituted the American Revolution. Catholic Americans with their spiritual leaders, namely the American Bishops need to declare and invoke the Catholic right to revolution in correcting the injustices of legislative and judicial anomalies. Perhaps in the ongoing Catholic struggle against the legal stature of Roe vs. Wade, Catholics need not only to make a stance with thoughts and prayers but also in the fiduciary support of government sponsored programs that pay for abortion services. The American Revolution was steeped with overtaxed British tea; well our Federal bureaucracy indeed is the financial tea that supports the maintenance and existence of abortion facilities. Through peaceful and forceful protest, every Catholic American should demand the end of financial support by the government for programs that foster the continuance of abortive services. What has not successfully worked in the past, such as marching in the streets of Washington, D.C. should make room for an alternative form of protest through the Catholic Americans withholding of financial subsidies that continue to feed the anti-Life movement.
Our concept of equal representation under law extends to those born and unborn, those in the process of life and those on the precipice of human gestation. Civil rights and liberties rightly belong to all human beings and should be protected accordingly. Indeed as American Catholics we must make our moral and ethical principles correctly heard through our Bishops and their moral teachings. It becomes especially difficult for faithful Catholics to understand the civil responsibilities that are incumbent upon their American citizenship, when individuals are incorrectly formed in the Catholic traditions of life and the preservation of its sanctity. Catholics in the United States should not look to the political arena for moral and ethical guidance, especially when a malformed Catholic is part of the Executive branch of government. They need to rely on the consistent and faithful teachings of the Bishop of Rome, correctly interpreted as inspired examples of Godâ€™s Word and part of His salvific plan.
Human rights, civil rights, voting rights, animal rights et cetra, et cetera are all uniquely formed as part of the human condition that has been unfortunately corrupted by original sin. As Catholic Americans we continue the process of conversion which unceasingly continues not only the message of the American Revolution, but the revolution proclaimed by Jesus Christ Himself namely the vocational call towards a human society that incorporates, love of God, love of neighbor and love of self. When we effectively integrate the message of Christâ€™s examples to our American way of livingâ€¦when indeed can all Americans proclaim tolerance for all of Godâ€™s people, living and unborn.
Roe vs. Wade the blasting trumpet that calls all Catholic to an age of renewed protest and revolution against injustices across all segments of our society.
Hugh J.McNichol is a freelance Catholic author that writes on uniquely Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the BBC and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Pewsitter.com and Blogger News Network.